The effect of orientation on number word processing

Roi Cohen Kadosh, Avishai Henik, Orly Rubinsten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Besner and Coltheart [Besner, D., & Coltheart, M. (1979). Ideographic and alphabetic processing in skilled reading of English. Neuropsychologia, 17, 467-472] found a size congruity effect for Arabic numbers but not for number words. They proposed that Arabic numbers and number words are processed in different ways. However, in their study orientation of the stimuli and notation were confounded. In the present study, it is found that orientation of number words affects numerical processing. Orientation modulates both the size congruity effect and the distance effect; horizontal presentation produces similar results to those produced by Arabic numbers whereas vertical orientation produces different results. Accordingly, it is proposed that our cognitive system is endowed with two different mechanisms for numerical processing; one relies on a visual-spatial code and the other on a verbal code.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-381
Number of pages12
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Kreitman Foundation (R.C.K.) and by the Israel Science Foundation founded by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (A.H.).


  • Attention
  • Cognitive processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of orientation on number word processing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this